Democrats & Liberals Archives

Time for a Constitutional Change

I think it is time for a change in our constitution, for too long have the powers of the majority to oppress the minorities of this nation prevailed. It is time to press for a constitutional amendment that denies any majority in this nation the right to oppress by means of law or custom the equal rights of any minority.

Is that amendment ridiculous? Of course it is! The Constitution already prohibits such acts of oppression; we donít need an amendment to sanctify that purpose of our great legal guide. I think that casting gay marriage as a constitutional issue makes less sense than the anti-oppression amendment posed above. Where does the constitution address marriage at all? Have I missed a clause somewhere? It seems to me the point of most of the Constitution was to define the limits of the powers of our Federal Government and the rest was spent on defining its structure. Marriage was largely an issue of church at the time our venerable document was written, and the states only lightly touched on its structure early in our Nationís life.

Common Law was our guide in those times much as it was in England, and our structure of government in the individual states followed those principles as much as they followed the new Constitution. The interest of the Federal Government in marriage is hard to find in any legal sense. There are over one thousand legal benefits to marriage under the federal law but no Federal Laws restricting marriage entered our legal system until 1996. The Federal Law in fact neglected marriage as a social institution toward which it had any interest except that of support until 1996. A Federal Law directly discriminating against gay marriage was then passed and signed into law by that well known Conservative William Jefferson Clinton. That law does everything the proposed Constitutional Amendment could accomplish if the text proposed by the current sponsors of that Amendment is passed unchanged. So here we are with an election year reprise of the gay bashing that occurred in the 1996 election period. Obviously it didnít work to unseat Bill Clinton and it wonít work to prevent the election of John Kerry either.

By the way the requirement for passage by three fourths of the state legislatures of any constitutional amendment makes the final passage of this ridiculous anti homo law unlikely. It is a transparent attempt to change the subject of this election from the failures of this administration to the evils of homosexual sex. God bless Karl Rove and his no limits grasp of the end justifies the means politics. I hope the disgust of the citizens of this country for blatant discrimination without a purpose overcomes this cynical abuse of our Constitution. Our Constitution is the finest document ever constructed around the purpose of limiting the powers of a central government; this cynical political ploy can only be seen as a deliberate abuse of the most sacred law of our land. God bless you all and keep you all safe from any abuse of our document designed to protect us all from any majority running amuck with the power of the Federal Government!

Posted by Henri Reynard at February 24, 2004 7:43 PM